The North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority (RIA) has approved 15 grant requests to local governments totaling $4,278,230. These grants are for projects that have committed to creating 526 jobs and will attract more than $200.9 million in private investment. Of the 526 jobs, 324 have already been announced.
The Rural Infrastructure Authority is a 17-member board that awards Rural, Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), and Utility grant funds, which include the Building Reuse Program and the Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account program. The Building Reuse Program provides grants to local governments to renovate vacant buildings, renovate and/or expand buildings occupied by existing North Carolina companies, and renovate, expand or construct health care facilities that will lead to the creation of new jobs in Tier 1 and Tier 2 counties and rural census tracts of Tier 3 counties. The RIA approved 13 grant requests under this program in the Vacant Building and the Existing Business Building categories:
Vacant Building Category
- Town of Edenton (Chowan County): A $25,000 grant will support the reuse of a 5,506-square-foot building, which will be renovated to become a start-up restaurant, The Herringbone on the Waterfront. This project is expected to create five jobs and attract a private investment of $1,432,250.
- Forsyth County: A $250,000 grant will support the reuse of a 45,000-square-foot building in Winston-Salem. The building will be occupied by Frank Blum Construction Company, a commercial general contractor that provides construction management services for clients in the education, healthcare, commercial and hospitality industries. Through this project, the company plans to create 35 jobs, while investing $3,138,885.
- Granville County: A $100,000 grant will support the reuse of a 175,000-square-foot building in Oxford. D’Artagnan, Inc. a food manufacturer specializing in foie gras, meat, game and smoked delicacies, plans to locate operations at this facility. The overall project is expected to create 23 jobs, with an investment of $5,060,986 by the company, while 15 jobs are tied to this grant.
- City of Salisbury (Rowan County): A $75,000 grant will support the reuse of a 5,600-square-foot building. At this facility, Stout Heating & Air, Inc., which offers air conditioning repair, HVAC installation, and related services for residential and commercial customers, plans to locate operations. The company is expected to create 11 jobs and invest $1,717,337 in this project.
Existing Business Building Category
- City of Mebane (Alamance County): A $350,000 grant will support the expansion of a building that is occupied by Lotus Bakeries, LLC. The company, which produces caramelized cookies and a variety of other baked goods and snacks, plans to add 100,000 square feet to the existing facility. The project is expected to create 62 jobs, with an investment of $84,446,779 by the company.
- Chatham County: A $67,000 grant will support the renovation of a 158,995-square-foot building in Moncure that is occupied by ARAUCO, a manufacturer and supplier of wood products that include particleboard, premium plywood, millwork, lumber and wood pulp. With this project, the company plans to create 26 jobs while investing $8,966,745.
- Cleveland County: A $160,000 grant will support the expansion of a building in Shelby that is occupied by Maco, Inc. The company, which provides welding, machining and structural steel manufacturing processes, plans to add 7,800 square feet to the existing facility. The project is expected to create 20 jobs, with an investment of $485,093 by the company.
- Craven County: A $500,000 grant will support the renovation of a 500,000-square-foot building in New Bern that is occupied by White River Marine Group, a boat manufacturer and affiliate of Bass Pro Shops that acquired the Hatteras brand and has plans to expand operations at this site. The company is expected to create a total of 500 jobs in the overall project, while 200 jobs and an investment of $33.5 million are tied to this grant.
- Granville County: A $250,000 grant will support the renovation of a 326,000-square-foot building in Oxford that is occupied by CertainTeed, LLC. The company, a manufacturer of exterior and interior building products, including roofing, siding, insulation and ceilings, plans to create 37 jobs while investing $118.8 million in the overall project. Thirty-two jobs and an $837,500 investment are tied to this grant.
- Greene County: A $175,000 grant will support the expansion of a building in Stantonsburg that is occupied by H&T Trucking, Inc. The company, which transports grain, animal feed and live animals for local integrators and farmers, plans to add 2,250 square feet to the existing facility. This project is expected to create 31 jobs, with an investment of $162,589 by the company.
- Lincoln County: A $300,000 grant will support the expansion of a building in Denver that is occupied by Huber Technology, Inc., a German-based manufacturer of wastewater equipment. The company plans to add 122,000 square feet to the existing facility. This project is expected to create 46 jobs, with a $39,515,000 investment by the company.
- Madison County: A $125,000 grant will support the renovation of a 120,000-square-foot building in Mars Hill that is occupied by Highland Metal Works, LLC. The company produces custom-designed and manufactured CNC plasma cutting tables and routers for various industries. The project is set to create 17 jobs, with an investment of $5,100,550 by the company.
- Robeson County: A $120,000 grant will support the renovation of a 49,000-square-foot building in Lumberton that is occupied by Asbury Graphite of North Carolina. The company, which processes graphite and other carbons, minerals and materials for a wide range of industries, plans to create 22 jobs while investing $16.9 million in the overall project, with 15 jobs and an investment of $15,560,212 tied to this grant.
The Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account provides grants to local governments located in the 80 most economically distressed counties of the state, which are classified as either Tier 1 or Tier 2. Funds may be used for publicly owned infrastructure projects that are expected to result in new job creation. The IDF – Utility Account is funded through a process tied to the state’s signature Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) program. When JDIG-awarded companies choose to locate or expand in a Tier 2 or Tier 3 county, a portion of that JDIG award is channeled into the Utility Account. The RIA approved two requests under this program:
- Nash County: A $1,681,230 grant will support a sewer and roadway expansion as part of the County’s effort to improve the Middlesex Corporate Centre industrial park, preparing the location for future job creation and private investment.
- Pitt County: A $100,000 grant will assist the County in providing a sewer line extension which will support an expansion at the Greenville facility of North State Steel, and may support growth by other businesses nearby. The company, a steel fabricator primarily serving the construction of industrial, commercial, government, educational and healthcare facilities, plans to create 11 jobs and invest $1,050,000 in this project.
In addition to reviewing and approving funding requests, the N.C. Rural Infrastructure Authority formulates policies and priorities for grant and loan programs administered by N.C. Commerce’s Rural Economic Development team. The Governor, Speaker of the House and Senate President Pro Tem appoint its 17 voting members. The North Carolina Secretary of Commerce serves as a member of the Authority, ex officio.
For additional information about N.C. Commerce’s Rural Economic Development Division, visit www.nccommerce.com/rd.